Study Abroad in New Zealand: best thing I've ever done. EVER. Past Review

By (Neuroscience and Psychology, Trinity University) for

Arcadia: Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was amazingly worthwhile... I went there focused, stressed, and feeling like graduate school was already pressing down on me as a junior. I left relaxed, more independent, and feeling like I can do anything in the way I want. I don't have to listen to others and do what they want me to do, it is possible to be independent!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Because I was only taking Common Curriculum courses, I thought the classes were mostly a breeze. However, these students do not have common curriculum. So if you are taking an intro English class, you are in a large lecture hall of 200 English majors. This was hard to get used to as I felt like they were much more educated in these departments than I was.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I LOVE JANE GUNN-LEWIS!! she is the director of Arcadia in New Zealand and she is the most helpful, sweet woman you will ever meet!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with two "Kiwi Hosts" who were New Zealand students and then 2 other international students. I really like the arrangement because we got to compare lifestyles with not only New Zealanders, but also my "flatmate" or housemate that was from Ireland.

* Food:

love it! We had "flat" or house dinners every night and alternated cooking. It was fun!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I really loved our weekend trips with our program and the trips we organized ourselves with other program students. I advise seeing EVERYTHING on the south island. so worth it!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I feel completely safe there. I actually find myself more skeptical and feel less safe coming back to America than before.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around $50 to 60 NZD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It was more expensive than I planned because I traveled almost every weekend to see new things! But I definitely advise doing that... so plan ahead and save where you can!


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Other
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students
  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? One. You must study abroad! Two. New Zealand is awesome. It is particularly awesome for people that like to be outside but even without that, there are so many things to do! Three. if you do come, bring your unlocked cell phone and a electrical cord converter. DO NOT bring straigteners/curling irons or stuff like that because it doesn't work even with a converter... so buy cheap ones or go natural! Four. TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL! while you may love your school, you are still in a new country and should see other things! You make awesome friendships doing this too :)

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Intro Maori

Course Department: Maori 102
Instructor: multiple instructors
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Easy class about the indigenous people of New Zealand which was pretty interesting. Most American international students take this class
Credit Transfer Issues: nope
Course Name/Rating:

English: A Survey

Course Department: English 121
Instructor: Trible
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was pretty boring, kind of like a high school English class but the books we read were interesting.
Credit Transfer Issues: no
Course Name/Rating:

Music in Popular Culture

Course Department: Music 121
Instructor: shelly
Instruction Language: english
Comments: Awesome course! Never having taken music before, I learned a LOTTTT about music. And it wasn't music of the past but music we hear in everyday life which made learning a lot more enjoyable.
Credit Transfer Issues: no